Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Political donations not subject to tax, says IRB chief

 Kow Gah Chie     Published     Updated Today 7:03 pm

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is not subject to pay income tax over the RM2.6 billion donation he received from a Saudi prince.

 “To me, if the income is subjected to tax, (then we can tax); if income not subject to income tax, then we cannot tax,” Inland Revenue Board (IRB) chief executive officer Mohd Shukor Mahfar said when asked about political donations.

Political donations are not subjected to tax, he stressed.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said Najib’s personal income tax records should be dug up, and compared with the RM2.6 billion which was transferred into his personal account.
Mahathir had asked the tax authority to act against Najib via his blog posting last August.

He said that if Umno had used that amount of money for election campaigning, it was a clear breach of election rules that place limits on the expenses of each candidate.

"The question I wish to ask is whether the Inland Revenue Board has acted on the RM2.6 billion that was in Najib's personal accounts," said Mahathir, the country's longest-serving prime minister.

US-based Wall Street Journal reported on July 2, 2015 that US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was transferred to Najib's personal accounts at AmBank in Kuala Lumpur, with the largest sum of US$681 million deposited in March 2013, ahead of the general election in May that year.

Mahathir also opined that Najib should be hauled up under banking laws as the donation never made it into Umno’s accounts, tabled at the annual general assembly last year.

AmBank was last month fined RM53.7 million for breach of certain regulations under Section 234 of the Financial Services Act 2013 and Section 245 of the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 by AmBank (M) Bhd and AmBank Islamic Bhd.

However, Ambank's offence was not specified.

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